In the era of globalization, when resources, services, as well as ideas are exchanged at such a rapid rate without any capping, it is not difficult to fathom how quickly a country manifests worldly colors in the form of varied practices, architectural designs, beliefs, etc.
While some of these exchanges like mobile phones, jeans, or pizzas make sense and make our lives better, some really push our minds into thinking if they are a bit bizarre and are just a product of the momentum of exchanges with other nations. Now, whether we like it or not, there is no coming back from what has been entrenched. Even then, let us look at some of these things that India adopted from western countries and see for yourself whether they need more thought put in.
1 Sitting on a chair as opposed to sitting on the floor.
It is said that ‘sitting is the new smoking’. Though it might seem a bit odd, it’s not an unfounded saying. It is an unhealthy habit that we have unfortunately adopted from the west, and as opposed to sitting on the floor, it doesn’t have a strong case from the health perspective.
When we sit on a chair, our glutes stretch out enough to make them inactive and weak. Moreover, recent literature suggests that excessive use of a chair for sitting increases the risk of degenerative diseases. On the other hand, sitting on a floor with your legs crossed not only helps with improving digestion but also helps in significant weight loss as well as improves flexibility as this position signals the brain to focus directly on the food that we eat.
2 Glass buildings
While some of you may disagree with this point being mentioned due to the professional as well as the aesthetic value that glass buildings may hold, the idea of having these types of structures is not congruent to the type of climate that India sees.
The primary purpose of the glass buildings is to trap as much heat as possible from the sun in the regions with colder climates so that a temperature balance could be maintained inside the building. India has a comparatively warmer climate than these western countries, therefore glass buildings do nothing more than trapping heat inside the building more than needed. Excessive use of Air Conditioners inside these buildings supports this logic even more.
3 Use of English language
India has the highest population of English speaking youth in the world. While this country tries its best to gain every possible advantage of this fact, the flip side is not so impressive. Though it has been 70 years since India stood on its feet after prolonged colonization, people are still treated differently based on their command over this language even today. There is no denying the fact that it is the second most spoken language in the world, but it is imperative to understand that a person’s fluency in English is not a justification for a farcical judgment over his/her true nature.
4 Attestation by gazette officers
This practice is still prevalent in this country, and sometimes, it is nothing more than a minor revenue generation system for the gazette officers when they ask for money in return for their signatures
This practice was introduced during the colonial times of the British. The Indians were considered to be illiterate and the British officials didn’t trust the Indians with the documentation work. Therefore, to add credibility, Indians were asked to get them attested.
5 Earth Hour
In a country where power cuts are so frequent that in some areas, people spend more time without power instead of with it, the idea of Earth Hour seems redundant.
The main reason why Earth Hour came into practice was giving some rest to the power stations in the Western countries. It is a worldwide movement by the World Wide Fund for Nature(WWF) and has several thousand cities participating.
6 The current form of government. Prime minister and the president
The Indian government structure consists of both the prime minister as well as the president. Just like a lot of other things, this form of government was also adopted from the west(Britain), and is being followed ever since.
Now, this has a very interesting story behind it. After King George, I of Scotland was crowned as the king, he faced some backlash from the Jacobites because of the dispute related to the true heir of the throne. To gain some power, King George turned to the Whigs to form a government, who were to dominate politics for the next generation. When Whigs gained power, Sir Robert Walpole, the leader and founder of Whigs and an excellent scholar was granted the title of the first lord of treasury or the ‘prime minister’ by King George I himself after when Walpole became more popular than him after the financial crisis in 1720. This is how the British Prime Ministerial system started which India adopted as well. Due to this, the president of India has limited powers in the Government. In other words, if King George wouldn’t have asked for help from the Whigs, there would have been no Narendra Modi.
7 Perception of beauty
The perception of beauty in India can be seen as a major issue by looking at the obsession of Indians with fairness creams. One way or the other, the idea of a fairer skin is seen on top of the ‘beauty hierarchy’. While this perception has roots from the colonial times, it still exists inside the minds of a major chunk of population in India. This seems even more strange because the Western countries have Tanning Studios which people happily pay for so that they could enjoy darker shades on their skins. Moreover, the idea of sunbathing is to enjoy that tanned skin.
8 Reality TV shows
While there are a lot of fans of reality TV shows like Bigg Boss, this entertainment idea is becoming really toxic as well as regressive. Clearly, the demand of Indians of moving away from these ‘saas-bahu’ serials was misunderstood, and the idea of ‘reality shows’ started popularising with shows like Indian Idol. While every reality show isn’t a problem, the explosion of the entertainment market with some really absurd reality shows has really polluted the creative industry.
Ragging is bad. It has destroyed so many young lives and has played with their self-esteem up to a limitless extent. Unfortunately, this absurd and sometimes immoral practice has been borrowed from the west as well.
Ragging started to become a popular practice in some European Universities when seniors liked to play some practical jokes on the freshmen to welcome them. The Britishers did this with the Indians to teach them the ‘important’ values of social hierarchy. Today, this practice has become an unfortunate tradition in a lot of Indian universities, and the consequences haven’t been pleasant lately.
10 Using a fork or spoon even if it doesn’t call for
Let’s be realistic. Using a fork or a spoon or even both might be one of the 10 commandments of eating right, though sometimes, people push this habit to a point of redundancy. While one can enjoy things like an omelet or noodles or something full of gravy using them, it seems absolutely unnecessary when Indians push it way too much and start consuming things like dumplings, dosa, and even pizza. How does it even make sense?
11 Cake on face
This overly jovial ritual is so commonplace in India that some ridiculous minds order two cakes just to avoid spoiling one of them so that it could be actually eaten, and there is no shadow of a doubt about what they do with the other one. Though it is good to see people finally paying attention to those who actually wish to enjoy eating a cake which is not disfigured by those sweaty fingers, it still doesn’t make sense. What significance does this practice have even in western countries?
12 Using the word ‘buck’ for rupees
While it is understandable that the word ‘buck’ sounds easy to be pronounced as compared to ‘rupee’ and even saves couple of milliseconds which could be used to ‘seize the day’, we still need to know the full story behind the origin of this word so that we can finally understand how it doesn’t make sense to use it.
The origin of this word can be traced back to the American Colonial period when a form of barter system existed and goods were traded for ‘deer skins’ or ‘buckskins’. Consequently, deerskin became a unit for currency and people started calling it ‘buck’. With the introduction of the US Dollar, the exchange system was revolutionized but this old ‘buck’ habit lingered on. While it is understandable to call a US Dollar as buck, it has absolutely no connection with the Indian Rupee. One of the many habits that we have adopted without giving a second thought.
Check out this Quora thread for more.